19 Best Books Set in Ireland

If you are dreaming of traveling to Ireland, these books set in Ireland are the next closest thing. These are also great books to read before a vacation to Ireland.

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I absolutely loved Ireland, and from the moment I landed in the country and walked out of the airport, I was struck by how green everything was (they don’t call it the Emerald Isle without reason!), and I immediately felt the weight of Ireland’s ancient, mystical history.

It’s the kind of place where you can easily believe leprechauns and fairies are lurking nearby!

These books capture the essence of Ireland and will have you wanting to plan a trip ASAP. I have included a mixture of nonfiction and fiction books set in Ireland to add to your reading list!

Books Set in Ireland

Grab the best books on Ireland here:

Best Books Set in Ireland

In the Woods

In the Woods by Tana French

In need of more gripping crime novels for adults? Don’t miss the Dublin Murder Squad Series by Tana French.

The first book in the series, In the Woods, is set in Dublin and this richly atmospheric mystery novel follows two detectives as they work the case of a missing twelve-year-old girl.

If you like psychological suspense, you will love this book.

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More In The Dublin Murder Squad Series:

normal people

Normal People by Sally Rooney

This award-winning fiction novel follows two Irish teenagers, Connell and Marianne, who live in the same small town but are polar opposites.

Connell is popular, while Marianne is a loner, although they’re briefly brought together by chance. The two meet again at university in Dublin and now their social roles are reversed. And once again they find themselves pulled to each other.

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Angelas Ashes

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Frank McCourt was born in Brooklyn but quickly moved back to Ireland with his immigrant parents, where he spent his childhood.

His Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir chronicles his childhood growing up impoverished in the slums of Limerick. But even through the heartbreak and dark circumstances, he imbues his story with humor, hope, and compassion.

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More Books In The Series:

the guest list

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

This heart-pounding thriller follows a wedding party on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. What starts off as a joyous celebration takes a darker turn when one of the guests turns up dead.

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Ireland by Frank Delaney

If you’re looking for a book about Irish history, this fictionalized story about the country’s origins, legends, and culture is a great choice.

Reading more like a novel and less like a dry history book, the Irish writer Frank Delaney takes readers on a journey through Ireland’s history.

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PS I Love You

PS, I Love You by Cecilia Ahern

While the movie adaptation of this popular tear-jerker changed the setting to New York, the original novel is set in Ireland.

The story follows a young Irish widow in the year after her husband’s early death as she opens a series of letters he left for her and attempts to put the shattered pieces of her life back together again after suffering immeasurable grief and loss.

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Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

You might not expect it from the title, but much of this historical fiction novel is actually set in Ireland.

It follows a young woman named Ellis who is immigrating from Ireland to New York in the early 1950s. This coming-of-age story follows Ellis through struggles, challenges, and growth.

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the hungry road

The Hungry Road by Marita Conlon-McKenna

The Great Famine was one of the darkest and bleakest times in Irish history.

If you’re interested in the Great Famine, this historical fiction novel inspired by true events offers a glimpse into what it was like to survive during one of the most challenging times in Irish history.

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say nothing

Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe

This gripping nonfiction book uses a horrifying murder in Belfast as a lens to examine The Troubles in Northern Ireland and dive deep into the raw and violent past of this conflict.

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the lost girls of ireland

The Lost Girls of Ireland by Susanne O’Leary

If you’re looking for a cozy, heart-warming women’s fiction novel, this is a perfect choice. It follows a woman who moves from Dublin to a tiny Irish coastal town with her daughter to escape the secrets of her past. The last thing she expects is to fall in love again…

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Read More Of The Starlight Cottages Series:

the liar's girl

The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard

Dublin’s most prolific serial killer turns out to be a charming and attractive university student with more secrets than he’s confessed in this dark, suspenseful, and twisty thriller.

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Snow by John Banville

This historic crime novel set in County Wexford in the 1950s follows a flinty Protestant detective as she investigates the murder of a Catholic priest in a small, insulated town.

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Dubliners by James Joyce

If you’re looking for an Irish classic, look no further than James Joyce’s famous collection of short stories.

Often described as the most accessible of Joyce’s work, Dubliners paints a vivid portrait of the famous Irish author’s hometown at the turn of the twentieth century.

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love luck

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

Addie is in Ireland for her aunt’s wedding, trying to get over a heartbreak, when she suddenly ends up on a whirlwind road trip around the country with her brother (who she’s been fighting with) and his admittedly cute Irish friend Rowan in this fun, heart-warming young adult novel.

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the wonder

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

This historical, psychological thriller set shortly after the Great Famine follows an English nurse named Lib, who is sent to observe an Irish girl whose family claims she has survived without food for months.

Thinking it first to be a hoax, Lib soon realizes something larger is at play in this small Irish town, and it’s up to her to save her young charge’s life.

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the hearts invisible furies

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

This award-winning novel spans seven decades of Irish history and follows Cyril Avery, who was born out of wedlock to an Irish teenager cast out of her rural town and adopted by a wealthy and eccentric Dublin couple. This poignant story follows his search for identity, belonging, and home.

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the rebound

The Rebound by Catherine Walsh

This romance novel follows a young woman who returns to her small Irish hometown after living in New York to get over a breakup, only to end up falling for her childhood best friend.

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the yellow house

The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey

If you are looking for a romance with a historic setting, The Yellow House provides. This historical romance follows a woman living in Northern Ireland during the early 1900s and trying to provide for her family when she finds herself caught between two men on either side of The Troubles.

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the spinning heart

The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

Set in contemporary rural Ireland, this witty and dark novel examines life in small-town Ireland in the wake of the financial collapse in a brief yet impactful way.

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What are your favorite Books Set in Ireland?

Have you read any of these books set in Ireland? Do you have any favorite books set in Ireland that I should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

More Literary Travel

Start with this list of the very best travel adventure books. It includes great reads that will fuel your wanderlust and have you staying up late to finish them. Or check out these books set in France, Italy, Spain, or London.

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